I’m a lucky bitch. We all wish to be someone different, and I’ve been able to be quite a few different someones.
My birth name is William. I grew up as a squirt in Australia where my sister and I were the lone Asians in our school. Although my friends saw past my brown skin, I noticed the teachers’ suspicious eyes that followed me throughout that time.
It’s no wonder that working in mizu shobai, the “water trade” or “liquor trade” is a coveted job in Japan. The pay is good…but the work is a bitch. My three months working as a barboy in Tokyo’s gay district Shinjuku Ni-chome was a well paid, but bittersweet experience of what goes on in these closet-sized bars. It was toxic, weird, liberating, and censored – just like Japanese porn.
“What am I doing here?” was the first question that ran in my head, as three hands reached out to pull down my TOOT underwear in the darkness, right after I walked past the entry curtain. In talking with my gay friends, that seems to be…